President Joe Biden's sweeping new vaccine mandate is ''gross,'' ''totalitarian'' and ''fascist,'' says Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla.
''The president of the United States just simply doesn't have the authority for this kind of order. We can't even fire federal employees for not doing their job, but we're going to fire them for not getting vaccinated?'' Donalds said Thursday on Newsmax's ''American Agenda.''
He appeared shortly after news broke of Biden's plan to sign an executive order that would require vaccination for employees of the executive branch and contractors that do business with the federal government — with no option to test out.
That covers several million workers.
''That's gross. It's insane and, frankly, it violates the liberty of every federal worker and it's going to lead to this push-down effect, this quieting effect on workers all across our country. It's outrageous.''
Later, the president also announced sweeping new federal vaccine requirements affecting as many as 100 million Americans in an effort to increase COVID-19 vaccinations and curb the spread of the delta variant.
The expansive rules mandate that all employers with more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or tested for the virus weekly, affecting about 80 million Americans. And the roughly 17 million workers at health facilities that receive federal Medicare or Medicaid will also have to be fully vaccinated.
After months of using promotions to drive the vaccination rate, Biden is taking a firmer hand, as his aides have blamed people who have not yet received shots for the sharp rise in cases that is killing more than 1,000 people per day and imperiling a fragile economic rebound.
''We've been patient. But our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us,'' Biden said in a White House press conference. The unvaccinated minority ''can cause a lot of damage, and they are.''
Donalds said he expected Biden's remarks to be ''draconian,'' ''fascist'' and ''downright totalitarian.''
''We should not be mandating vaccines. I know people are afraid; they're watching the news reports, they're seeing the anecdotal stories from the media. But we cannot be making fear-based decisions. We have to make data-based decisions, and Joe Biden is not doing that.''
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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